In a Heartbeat

I would do the work all over again. It was worth it.

I’m lying in bed, writing this post on my phone while my husband is in dreamland next to me.

I’ve been sick and sad this week. I’m still dealing with my cold, and I find myself more sad about our dog’s passing than I’d imagined I would be. Going to bed at 9 feels like a late night. My husband is in the same boat. Plus, his CPAP mask seems to not be fitting right, so he isn’t feeling as rested in the morning as he should.

In other words, we’re both pooped out. And guess what that means we haven’t had much time for? I’ve been sulking (but trying not to) because of a sexual dry spell–which is a funny way to think of it because we’ve had more encounters in the past month than we did in all of 2009. Perspectives certainly can change.

Last night I shared with my husband some of my frustrations about feeling emotionally and physically disconnected from him. I cried much of the time. (Interesting side note: I used to cry a lot. During the years when I had the thickest walls and fought against being vulnerable with him, ever, I rarely ever cried. Over the past eight months, when our marriage has been at its most intimate, I’ve begun crying again. Tears mean I feel safe and close to him.) I reassured him that my tears didn’t mean I’m unhappy, just that I needed him.

He listened, and he heard. Today after work, at what seems to be our best time of day during this season of life, we reconnected. Afterwards, he held me and asked me how I felt. “Loved,” I said. “I feel very loved.”

How is it that feeling loved can infuse my soul with such contentment and at-one-ness? In all those years I restricted our sexual activity, I rejected this wonderful feeling.

Bedtime was awful for a long time. I would go to bed early, hoping to be asleep before my husband got to bed. Or I would stay up way later than he would, hoping desperately that he would be asleep before I got to bed. Or we’d go to bed at the same time and argue about sex. And sometimes I’d cave in and then afterwards would lie in bed frustrated and sad and wondering why we couldn’t get along. Almost every single night, I would lie in bed feeling tense and full of conflict.

Yet here I am now, lying in bed next to my slumbering man, full of wonder that I feel so much peace. It was hard work to get to this point, and I have more work ahead of me. It was hard the first time I chose not to say “no” to my husband. It was hard the first time I deliberately undressed in front of him after years of shrouding myself. It was hard the first time I agreed to an activity outside my comfort zone. It was hard the first time I told my husband how much I desired him. It was hard to admit that I had been wrong all those years. It was hard to ask my husband for his forgiveness for all the years I made him feel unloved and denied him his only legitimate sexual outlet. Every change I’ve made has been hard.

I spent a good amount of time today praying for wives who need courage and conviction to take a first step in healing the sexual relationship in their marriages. It is hard to change years of habits. It is hard to stop trying to protect a hurting heart. If you are one of the wives I prayed for today, I want you to know this: the second step is easier than the first.

Here I am, lying in bed writing a blog post with my thumbs (thumb cramps tomorrow?). Sound asleep,  my husband wraps his arm around me. Even in his sleep, he loves me. Every change I’ve made has been hard–and I would do it again in a heartbeat just to feel the way I do right at this moment.

Image courtesy of digitalart /

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11 Comments on “In a Heartbeat”

  1. All I can do is smile! I’ve been there in those moments of avoiding intimacy. Now I kind of wish he’s wake up and take me again. I’m still a work in progress but becoming more “me” every day.

  2. Oh please, please don’t cry…it’s so upsetting. I know it’s something I’ve done or didn’t do….

    I know what it feels like to lie in bed feeling tense and full of conflict. It’s just an awful feeling. Thankfully, it happens less and less now. I wish there was a simple way to overcome that feeling, but pride and anger get in the way. Have you any thoughts on what to do to overcome that feeling?

    1. Well, I’ve always found that crying helps in overcoming that feeling….

      I cry when I’m full of any kind of emotion. I often make a point of reminding my husband that my tears are not about him but about my feelings–just like when he is nervous or angry or anxious or excited, his voice volume increases and he talks fast.

  3. First of all I am impressed, writing on your phone – that is impressive.
    This was a very touching post, I appreciate it at many levels. I hope you feel better in the morning and I hope your hubby gets rest so you can have a nice bonding weekend!

      1. I have one of those keyboards also, but I can only do texting on mine, it is a semi-smart phone.

        I appreciated the post. I thought about copying it and discussing it with you line by line. However, I am afraid that it would be a time waster for you even if it was cathartic for me.

        1. We could try that if you want, although I’m almost asleep (yup, on my phone again) and couldn’t respond until later tomorrow. If email would work better, that’d be fine, too.

        2. Thank you for the offer. I may do that tomorrow. I think my wife has finished doing the stuff she had to do tonight. Maybe she can spend some time with me now. If I can tear here away from her freecell game.

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